February 19, 2023



You can read the full story here.

He directed 12 episodes of Bunnicula and storyboarded for Transformers: Rescue Bots, Ben 10: Omniverse, Justice League Action, DuckTales (2017), and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.



You can read the full story here.

He appeared on two episodes of Sesame Street season 10 as a man in a rowboat, cameoed as himself in the special Elmopalooza, and presented the Word of the Day from the set of Law & Order: SVU in season 38.

February 18, 2023



(CBS, September 7, 1974-August 30, 1975)
Funhouse Productions Inc., Viacom Productions


Meadowlark Lemon – Himself, various
Freddie “Curly” Neal – Himself, various
Marques Haynes – Himself, various
Charles “Tex” Harrison – Himself, various
Hubert “Geese” Ausbie – Himself, various
Nate Branch – Himself, various
Theodis “Wolfman” Lee – Himself, various
John Smith – Himself, various
Bobby Joe “B.J.” Mason – Himself, various
Rodney Allen Rippy – Himself
Avery Schreiber – Mr. Evil
John Aylesworth – Announcer


            In 1970, CBS executive Fred Silverman decided he wanted to try and lure the fans of The Harlem Globetrotters over to his network by giving them their own show. Harlem Globetrotters became the first series to feature characters based on actual sports stars and a predominantly African-American cast. It ran for two seasons. That wasn’t the end of the Globetrotters’ TV career, however, as shortly after CBS gave them another program.

Publicity still of the Globetrotters with Schreiber's Mr. Evil.

            The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine was a live-action comedy variety show created by John Aylesworth and Frank Peppiatt, this time starring the actual Globetrotters: Meadowlark Lemon, Freddie “Curly” Neal, Marques Haynes, Charles “Tex” Harrison, Hubert “Geese” Ausbie, Nate Branch, Theodis “Wolfman” Lee, John Smith and Bobby Joe Mason. While they sometimes wore their signature uniforms, their primary outfits were matching ones that had their names written on their chests. Episodes began with Tex calling out to the audience for a letter, which one of the other Globetrotters would stand and hold up on a card as the audience full of kids repeated it. The resulting word spelled out would set the theme of the day that everything centered around, such as “pollute” for pollution and “brother” for brotherhood. What followed were short skits with the Globetrotters engaging in various activities or playing characters, quickfire gags, song numbers and, of course, basketball exhibitions. They would repeat the letters bit at the end, but always spelling out the phrase “so long”. Joining the Globetrotters every week was Avery Schreiber as the comical Mr. Evil, the antagonist who would try to hamper their pro-social message and embodied the antithesis of it, and Rodney Allen Rippy to add a relatable character for the kids watching. Guest stars would also appear from time to time, such as  Tom Bosley, Jim Backus, Esther Rolle and Teresa Graves.

The Globetrotters performing on their primary stage with Teresa Graves.

       Following an hour-long prime-time pilot that aired on December 13, 1972, The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine was picked up for Saturday mornings, debuting on September 7, 1974. It was one of the first series produced for Viacom Productions. The series’ name was emphasized by the recurring graphic of basketballs bouncing around in a container reminiscent of a popcorn machine popping. Aylesworth, serving as the show’s announcer, introduced Rippy, Schreiber and the episode’s guest star. The Globetrotters themselves would appear on a stage full of colorful lighted backboards and rims to introduce themselves while “passing” around a basketball that would have their name on it (these were, of course, different balls and the passing was done through creative editing). The series was written by Aylesworth, Peppiatt and Jack Burns, with music by Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson.

The Globetrotters' 1975 Yearbook.

         The Globetrotters featured information about Popcorn Machine in their 1975 Yearbook. Unlike their animated endeavor,  Popcorn Machine only lasted for a single season. It did, however, continue on for an additional season of reruns well into 1976. Silverman wasn’t quite ready to give up on the Globetrotters’ television careers just yet. In 1979, he brought the team over to NBC with him in another Hanna-Barbera cartoon: The Super Globetrotters.


February 12, 2023

February 11, 2023



(NBC, September 10-December 3, 1977)
Farmhouse Films



Muhammad Ali – Himself
Casey Carmichael – Damon
Patrice Carmichael – Nicky
Frank Bannister – Himself


Muhammad Ali is considered one of the most important sports figures of the 20th Century, as well as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. until changing his name after converting to Islam in the 1960s, Ali took up boxing at the age of 12 after being encouraged by Louisville police officer and boxing coach Joe E. Martin and inspired by seeing amateur boxers on a local televised program called Tomorrow’s Champions.

Ali standing over Sonny Liston.

Ali made his amateur boxing debut in 1954, winning against Ronnie O’Keefe by split decision. He went on to win six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two national Golden Gloves titles, an Amateur Athletic Union national title, and the light heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics. Ali’s amateur recorded ended up being 100 wins with 5 losses. He then went professional in 1960, taking on the likes of Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Chuck Wepner (whose bout with Ali inspired the creation of the Rocky franchise), Ron Lyle and Joe Bugner. In the early years of his professional career, Ali adopted the personality of a self-described “big-mouth and bragger”; engaging in trash-talk with free-style rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry that often made him regarded as influential in the world of hip hop music through his quick, confident and smooth deliveries. This was inspired and encouraged by professional wrestler “Gorgeous George” Wagner as a means to bring in more people to bouts who either wanted to see him win or really lose. Of course, they got a lot more of the former with a career record of 56 wins and 5 losses. His fights were some of the world’s most-watched television broadcasts, frequently setting viewership records.

Speaking about his draft refusal alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

He became an icon for the counterculture movement of the 1960s when he refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War because of his religious beliefs and personal ethical opposition. Guilty of draft evasion, he was stripped of his boxing titles and denied a boxing license in every state. As a result, he didn’t fight from 1967-70 until he was finally able to get the decision appealed and overturned in 1971. In the meantime, Ali was touring colleges speaking out against the war and advocating African-American pride and racial justice (he had grown up during the period of segregation). He also participated in a fictional boxing match with retired champion Rocky Marciano, which had them sparring for about 75 one-minute rounds with several potential outcomes; with the winner chosen by a computer. Edited together and released to theaters in 1970 as The Super Fight, the American version had Ali losing the fight in a knockout while Marciano lost in the European version to cuts.

Promotional poster for Ali's first album.

Outside of fighting, Ali pursued several other interests. In 1963, he released a comedy album of spoken word music through Columbia Records titled I Am the Greatest (regarded as an early example of rap music), and in 1964 he recorded a cover of the song “Stand by Me”. In 1976 he recorded a spoken word novelty record through St. John’s Fruit and Vegetable Co., The Adventures of Ali and is Gang vs. Mr. Tooth Decay, meant to raise awareness of tooth decay in children. Ali participated in professional wrestling several times; including being the special guest referee at the inaugural WrestleMania event in 1985. He was also an amateur artist, making dozens of drawings and paintings throughout the 1970s.

Ali in Buck White.

Then there was Ali the actor. He would appear—mostly as himself—in shows like Vega$, Diff’rent Strokes (whose title was inspired by one of Ali’s sayings), and Touched by an Angel, made a cameo in the 1962 film Requiem for a Heavyweight, appeared in the 1972 documentary Black Rodeo, and played himself in the 1977 film The Greatest, which was adapted from his autobiography. Actual character roles included the titular lead of the short-lived 1969 Broadway musical Buck White and former slave and Civil War soldier Gideon Jackson in the 1978 film Freedom Road. Somewhere in between all that, it was decided to try and take advantage of Ali’s popularity with children and create an animated series centered around him.

The animated version of Ali.

Created by Fred Calvert, Kimie Calvert, Janis Diamond and John Paxton and produced through Calvert’s Farmhouse Films, I Am the Greatest!: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali followed Ali (voiced by himself) on his trips around the world as he participated in fights and exhibitions. Along the way, adventure would seem to find him in the form of saboteurs, poachers, thieves and other forms of trouble that would plague the locals of wherever he was visiting. Ali, being the man he was, couldn’t just sit idly by when there was a possibility he could help. Despite the violent nature of Ali’s well-known occupation, being on Saturday morning meant the resolutions to the programs leaned more into non-violent solutions. Situations and mysteries were solved through Ali’s worldly knowledge and with words, and moments of physicality were generally relegated to minor grappling.

Ali's "entourage": Bad News, Damon, Frank and Nicky.

Joining Ali on his adventures were his niece and nephew, Nicky (Patrice Carmichael) and Damon (Casey Carmichael), and their dog, Bad News. Additionally, Ali’s real-life public relations agent and hype man, Frank Bannister, came along for the ride also voicing himself. While the kids were always deep into the adventures, Frank was more of a reluctant participant. He was focused on making sure Ali met his obligations and set up the next one, and was exasperated trying to keep up when he would run off on an escapade.

Ali wrestling an alligator.

I Am the Greatest!: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali debuted on NBC on September 10, 1977. The series was written by John Bates, Carole Beers, Booker Bradshaw, Ellen Christianson, David Christianson, Joseph R. Henderson, Bryan Joseph and Gene Moss. The music and sound effects by were done by Charles Blaker and Robert V. Greene (as Corky Greene). The entire cast recorded in Hollywood with the exception of Ali; whom Calvert would fly out to meet in Philadelphia to record his lines. Each episode also featured a brief live-action segment at the end where Ali would deliver some personal words of wisdom to the audience.

Ali addressing the viewers.

Despite Ali’s larger-than-life presence and popularity, the show failed to generate significant ratings and was cancelled after a single season of 13 episodes. Reruns would air on El Rey Network, who aired them in a marathon following the death of Ali in 2016.  To date, the series ahs never seen an official home media release; although bootlegs are floating around the internet. The El Rey airings have been preserved as part of the Internet Archive.



“The Great Alligator” (9/10/77) – A pair of thieves use alligator attacks to terrorize a local swamp village.
“The Air Fair Affair” (9/17/77) – A pair of dirty pilots sabotage their competition in an air race.
“The Littlest Runner” (9/24/77) – Ali and the kids try to get a runaway to stop living in the woods and return home.
“Ali’s African Adventure” (10/1/77) – While on an African safari, Ali gets involved in trying to help stop a poaching operation.
“Superstar” (10/8/77) – Ali’s sci-fi movie shoot is disrupted by the crew’s boat exploding and the giant alien robot seemingly developing a mind of its own.
“The Haunted Park” (10/15/77) – Ali is participating in the grand opening of a haunted park in London where people seem to disappear from the roller coaster after it passes through a tunnel.
“Caught in the Wild” (10/22/77) – A plane malfunction leaves Ali and his crew stranded in the wilds of the Yukon.
“Volcano Island” (10/29/77) – A storm leaves Ali and his crew stranded on an island with a crazy hermit and an active volcano about to blow.
“Oasis of the Moon” (11/5/77) – Ali and his crew investigate the disappearance of an oasis with an archaeologist in Egypt.
“The Great Bluegrass Mountain Race” (11/12/77) – Ali proposes a race between a locomotive and a truck for a shipping contract.
“The Werewolf of Devil’s Creek” (11/19/77) – Ali investigates the report of a werewolf scaring people away from a mine in a small town.
“Sissy’s Climb” (11/26/77) – A need for a mountain rescue allows an exchange student to show women can be just as capable as men on treacherous peaks.
“Terror in the Deep” (12/3/77) – A sea monster disrupts a scientific experiment of moving food production to the bottom of the sea.

February 04, 2023



(The WB, October 19, 1996-May 17, 1997)
Warner Bros. Television Animation, Nelvana



Orlando Brown – Damey “Waynhead” Wayne
Tico Wells – Marvin
Jamil Walker Smith – Mo’ Money Jr.
T’Keya Crystal Keymáh – Roz, Shavonne, Aki
Shawn Wayans – Toof
Gary Coleman – Kevin
Kim Wayans – Mrs. Wayne
John Witherspoon – Mr. Wayne


Actor, comedian, producer and writer Damon Wayans had been working steadily in the 1980s, including a brief stint on Saturday Night Live, but his breakout moment came as a writer and performer on the sketch comedy series In Living Color in 1990. He left the show just two years into its 4-year run to pursue a movie career; however, he would return to television several times. One of those times involved the development of an animated series that would take inspiration from his childhood.

Damon Wayans.

Originally the show known as The Wayneheads was meant to be a Claymation series airing on FOX; home to In Living Color and later Wayans’ short-lived sitcom, Damon. It was announced as preparing to debut in the fall of 1991 in a New York Times article and was even mentioned on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson when Carson listed the upcoming shows for the new season. However, the show was shelved and retooled over the next few years into the traditionally animated series it would become.

Promo art featuring Damey Wayne.

Now known as Waynehead, it followed the daily life of 10-year-old Damey “Waynehead” Wayne (Orlando Brown) in downtown New York City. The term “Waynehead” was a teasing term derived from the fact that because Damey’s family had so little money, they got their haircuts at home (also an inside joke between the Wayans siblings about their similar hairstyles). Damey had a club foot (as did Wayans as a kid), which caused him to struggle to keep up with his friends at times (climbing fences, for example, was fairly difficult) and kept him from doing everything they did (such as anything to do with water to keep his shoe’s brace from rusting). It also made him the prime target for neighborhood bullies. However, he could give as good as he got with his sharp wit; especially when someone tried to make fun of his foot. Whenever faced with a dilemma, Damey’s imagination tended to take over and put him in a fantasy world that sometimes helped, and other times left him just as stumped as he began.

Damey plays some rooftop basketball with Mo' Money, Roz, Marvin and Toof.

With Damey often was his crew: Marvin (Tico Wells), Damey’s best friend who tended to tell tall tales; Mo’ Money (Jamal Walker Smith), who was always eager to scam someone out of money—even his friends; Roz (T’Keya Crystal Keymáh), the only girl and most athletic of the group; and Toof (Shawn Wayans), a dimwit with a single tooth and an extreme love for all things candy. Other characters included Damey’s pregnant mother (Kim Wayans) and hard-working father (John Witherspoon, who was also starring in his brothers’ show, The Wayans Bros.), his older brother, Kevin (Gary Coleman) and bratty little sister, Shavonne (Keymáh); Marvin’s big, burly brother, Blue (Marlon Wayans); Damey’s neighbor from Africa, Aki (Keymáh), who sometimes hung out with the gang and was considered nerdy because of his lack of understand of American culture; a friendly three-legged stray dog named Tripod (Frank Welker); and a group of older bullies that attended St. Mary’s Catholic school. Additional members of the citizenry, as well as various locations around New York City, were shown in a series of three snapshots during breaks in the story.

Damey getting some bad news from the doctor about his foot with his mother.

Waynehead debuted on The WB as part of the Kids’ WB programming block on October 19, 1996. The network had picked it up in the hopes of adding a little diversity into their line-up, and as a result it became a joint production between Warner Bros. Television Animation and Nelvana. The series was written by Tim Hightower, Brad Kaaya (both of whom would go to work on Damon), Carmenita Bravo, Kevin Hopps, W. Reed Moran, Chris Otsuki and David Wyatt, with Hopps serving as head writer and Grant Moran and Dianne Dixon as story editors. Moran was also the series’ casting director and producer. The theme and music were composed by Stanley Clarke, with additional music by Todd Cochran and Kennard Ramsey. Hanho Heung-Up Co. Ltd. and Philippine Animation Studio Inc. handled the primary animation, while TMS-Kyokuichi Corporation did the opening titles.

Dancing in Washington Square Park.

Unfortunately, the series only lasted a single season of 13 episodes before it was cancelled. While the network said it was because of low ratings that never improved, Wayans claimed in TV Guide that he was told it wasn’t “black enough, or funny enough.” Despite the short run, the series’ short run, it found a second life on Cartoon Network from 1998 until 2000 and was broadcast around the world. It also received an homage in the Pinky and the Brain episode “Dangerous Brains”; with Pinky adopting the alias “Jergen Pinkhead” and a parody of the show’s theme playing during his entrance. Waynehead wouldn’t receive any kind of official home media release until April 20, 2001; when it was made available to purchase digitally on iTunes, Prime Video and Vudu nearly 25 years after its debut.


“Demon of the Dozens” (10/19/96) – Damey looks for dirt he can use in his insult battle with the school bully.
“No Mo’ Money” (10/26/96) – The gang tries to earn money so they can go to the Harlem Week festival and Mo’ Money tries to scam their way into even more.
“Brothers and Bros.” (11/2/96) – Tired of his brother getting all of his family’s respect, Damey decides to sneak out and watch a fight with his friends.
“Bostawana Aki and the Hydrant of Doom” (11/9/96) – Damey wants to get canned goods for free admission into a concert, but he’s forced to hang out with the nerdy new kid.
“3 Hats and You’re Out” (11/16/96) – Damey’s gang becomes cool when his cousin starts hanging with them, but choices must be made when he demands one of their own be cut out.
“Dad’s a Spaz” (11/23/96) – Damey asks his father to coach his gang for an upcoming basketball game only to discover he’s lousy at the sport.
“Be Mine...Or Else” (12/31/96) – Roz becomes smitten with Damey when he accidentally saves her from junkyard dogs.
“To Be Cool or Not to Be” (2/1/97) – Damey has a role in an opera—something he’s desperate to keep from his friends.
“Special Delivery” (2/15/97) – Damey and his gang must get his mother to the hospital when she goes into labor.
“Quest for Fireworks” (4/19/97) – When rumors spread after the gang believes Toof stood up to the cops, everyone believes Toof has become their hookup for illegal fireworks.
“A Friend in Greed” (4/26/97) – The decision on what to spend their money on is taken out of the gang’s hands when Marvin steals it and buys himself and Waynhead what they wanted.
“Bummed Out” (5/3/97) – A homeless DJ plays on Damey’s guilt over a prank his gang pulled just before he was fired.
“Rebel Without a Paw” (5/17/97) – Damey tries to find tripod a new home but it proves difficult because of his missing leg.